Every feature in this series will ask the chefs the same five questions. Here are Chef Portale's responses:
1. What would you want your last meal to be? Peking duck and I think just an excellent French red burgundy.
2. Is there any food that you won't try or that you steer clear of? No -- there's nothing that I don't like.
Are you allergic to anything? No. I mean, I'm not like Tony Bourdain -- I'm not going to eat all this weird food for the hell of it, but I love everything. There isn't anything I don't like.
3. What's your least favorite word to hear in the kitchen (besides "fire")?
86 is the worst. If I'm in line and they say "We're 86 squab, Chef," that means we don't have any. Somebody screwed up and didn't order enough and now we're out, so now we have to go to the table and say "We don't have this tonight...."
4. Sweet or salty?
5. Is there anything besides your tennis-playing that you'd want people to know about you?
All the really good things I'd like to try and keep a secret.